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9364: RE: 9320: Re: 9310: RE: 9304: Ira Kurzban-super salesman?? (f wd) (fwd)
From: "Hoover, Julie H." <Hoover@pbworld.com>
A few days ago, I defended Ira Kurzban's receipt of around $637,000 per year
from the Haitian government.
Was surprised at a few of the responses stating or implying that: "the
Haitian government was not accountable or transparent" (quite a leap in
judgment) , Mr. Kurzban's advice was "not good" (when we don't know what
advice he provided, how can we possibly declare it bad?), the Haitian
government has no explanation of how his money was spent and Mr. Kurzban
"owes" this to them (I'm quite sure Haiti's government has an accounting of
his services; why is it presumed they do not?); and "some people"
(presumably me) believe the Haitian government should be held to lower
standards ( I cannot possibly fathom how this conclusions was arrived at).
Anyway, I did a little digging around and ascertained the following
information, which will, hopefully, alleviate people's concerns.
It appears that the money allocated to Ira was a budget, and included the
expenses and salaries of the other people on the list, so, in fact, there
was double-counting of some of the money. However, even if this were not
the case, the fees still do not seem out-of-line given the need for a
government to have legal counsel and Ira's formidable accomplishments.
(Which, I admit, I did not do a good job in describing initially.) The
following is not by any means a thorough accounting. Just a listing of some
of Ira's contributions.
* Collected approximately $1 million dollars from accounts held by
Michele Bennett and Jean Claude Duvalier and returned the money to the
government of Haiti. That money has been used to build schools and other
projects for the people of Haiti. He continues to file cases and look for
additional funds from those who have stolen money from the Haitian people,
which is then returned to the Haitian government for its use to provide
services to the people.
* As several people on the Corbett list have already noted, actively
and aggressively worked to remove the toxic ash in Gonaives that had been
allowed to pollute Haitian beaches for almost 14 years when it was dumped
there illegally. The ash was finally removed from Haiti.
* Established the Bureau du Avocats Internationale (BAI) that was
responsible for assisting the victims in the Raboteau massacre. The BAI is
currently working on the Cite Soleil fire case, where hundreds lost their
homes during the coup d'etat; the Jean Dominique case; and other cases to
assist the Haiti people to obtain justice.
* Developed historical research necessary to permit the Government of
Haiti to make a claim for the return of Navase Island. If this claim is
successful the Government could receive millions of dollars in excess of
whatever has been spent on "lobbyists."
* Pressured the U.S. to return the FRAPH documents taken by the U.S.
military while they were in Haiti, an effort that has been successful with
the recent return of the documents to the government of Haiti.
* Continuing to pressure the U.S. to return Toto Constant and others
who are in the U.S. so that they may be brought to justice in Haiti.
* Successfully helped Haiti receive over $10,000,000 in micro credit
loans during the Preval administration.
Let's not forget that Ira has been a long time activist and advocate for
Haitian refugees in the U.S. for over 25 years including fighting for the
rights of Haitian refugees in the U.S., helping to restore democracy to
Haiti, and negotiating contracts that have brought millions of dollars in
business and revenues to Haiti.
This is but a small sampling of the services Ira has supplied. Are we
really asking for a complete accounting of every single service and piece of
advice an attorney provided the President? I sure hope not. A president
should have some discretion in his attorney relationships.